Monday, April 16, 2012

Sing a Song

When my daughter was a baby, I used to rock her to sleep while singing

Abide with me, fast falls the evening tide

The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide

There are three verses. And she, too young to understand all of it, would play along with certain passages.

Hold now thy cross before my closing eye

“Look Mommy. My eyes are closed!”


Oh thou who changest NOT with great emphasis on NOT

It was our routine. And, as she was quite the precocious wordsmith, by the time she was three, she had memorized all the verses. On a family trip, she began singing the whole thing. My mom was quiet. Later Mom said to me, “You know that’s a funeral song.”

Well, no I didn’t know that. I liked the nighttime images and the theology. (There’s a lot of great theology in what some called The Hymns of the Faith)

Mom was the third child of a Lutheran minister. In that capacity, she had memorized the hymn by attending many funerals in her father’s church.

Interesting how context can alter most things.

There’s my childhood bedtime prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep

Pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

In Jesus’ name Amen

Just about every night in my childhood, this was the next to last thing we did at bedtime. If Dad was tucking us in, the last thing was the drink of water. From the kitchen. Tasted better.

Now look at THAT: although I like that correct “lay” and the subjunctive “if I should die” but die? Every night? Well, yes. We at the least gave it lip service.

And so we bowed at meals:

God is good. God is great.

And we thank Him for our food.

By his grace we all are fed.

Give us Lord our daily bread.


And while it’s a good thing to teach children (and remind all of us) the truth that everything we have comes through God’s gracious gifts, I’m pretty sure I did not ‘get’ this one. From my perch, WE were fed by my mom who cooked (and cleaned, and laundered, and drank coffee with Ann Johnson), and it was rare that BREAD was the entrĂ©e. Mac and Cheese in the lean years. Roast Beef with gravy in the gravy years.

Besides, children don’t get metaphor.

I know, of course, that Daily Bread represents our needs. And God in His graciousness supplies all of our needs. So often, He lets us see that we’ve gotten WAY beyond what we perceive our needs to be.

So with today’s doctor’s appointment. I took a day off from school so I could hold the hub’s hand as he especially expected grim news.

Our need today? “Scans look good. No change since December.” Following this we had some discussion of blood work and other indications.

Our need today is NO BAD NEWS. Our blessing beyond is hope for another summer.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above you heavenly hosts

Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost!


  1. Thank You, Lord, for Your mercies which continue. Now, be pleased to erradicate every cancerous cell from Mike's body and restore him to full health and strength.

    I ask these things that You and You alone, O God, might receive the honor and glory.

  2. Amen... and amen. love you both, janis